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Madrid to appeal new Catalan independence motion ahead of talks

Spain’s government said on Friday it would appeal against a motion by Catalonia to press on with its independence drive. The move comes as tensions rise ahead of talks between new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and regional leader Quim Torra. Catalonia’s secessionist drive is one of the thorniest issues facing Sanchez after he toppled center-right premier Mariano Rajoy on June 1 in a vote of no-confidence. The Catalan parliament on Thursday backed a motion proposed by a small anti-capitalist party, the CUP, that reiterates “political targets” first set out by the secessionists in 2015 which envisage an independent Catalonia, AP said. Sanchez has adopted a more conciliatory approach to the problem than his predecessor, calling for dialogue and the lifting of financial controls on the region.